I recently returned from an amazing mission experience with our South Africa Mission Team. For over six years, Rolling Hills has been investing in South Africa. Our ministry has centered in this special place called Red Hill. Red Hill ranges from 800 to 1,200 people all living in conditions that you will see below. This is definitely a place of poverty, but there is something powerful happening just below the surface…
When we arrived in Red Hill we divided into three teams – Garden, Construction and Preschool training. The Garden team took on the task of developing a large garden to provide food for the community. Phillis and her husband, William (pictured below) live in the home by the garden. Phillis already feeds 27 people in need in Red Hill, and her dream has been to have a garden to feed 100+. There was a look of grateful joy and sheer amazement as she watched her dream come true. Our construction team spent the day building out the roof on the Living Hope club facility. They are doing a great job working with people in the community to see this come together. In addition, our preschool team spent time training leaders of the two preschools in Red Hill.
One of my favorite parts of the mission trip thus far is seeing what God is doing through our very own missionary, Lesli Crawford! She is truly the “Mother Theresa” of Red Hill. Whenever she drives into the community, the kids immediately flock to her. Here is Lesli pictured with Phillis and Lumpka (one of the Life Skills Educators we, as a church, help sponsor in Red Hill). Lesli is a true gift from God, and she is making a huge difference for the Kingdom! I am so thankful for her heart and her ministry!
After this work, came the kids! Kid’s Club today was absolutely incredible! About 94 kids ages 3 to 10 came bounding to the building ready to sing, dance, and hear about Jesus! It was so fun! The kids immediately jumped into our arms only to find love and acceptance. They sang songs about Jesus, listened to our Bible Story, carefully worked on their craft, prayed with sincerity and waited patiently for us to give them a meal – which might be their only one of the day. God was there! As we all sang “How Great is our God,” tears filled my eyes. To look around and see the difference God is making through His church in Middle Tennessee in the lives of precious children half-way around the world. I truly thought, “Only God!” Only God can do something like this!
I am so thankful for all who invest in this incredible ministry. Thank you for your prayers, your time, your giving and your constant investment. God is using us in a mighty way for His glory! Your obedience is making a huge difference! I am so thankful for Brent, Jason, Lesli, Ethan, Mark, Zach, Emily, Sam and Nathan who have come year after year to serve in this place. I am thankful for Sara, Steve, Tama, Conner and Claudia who are here now investing in God’s work. And, I am thankful for each of you! It takes all of us working, praying, giving and serving together to make this kind of impact.
As Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” We are planting seeds here in Red Hill – not just seeds in garden that will feed over 100+ people, but seeds of the Gospel that will impact generations! Many of these seeds we are already seeing sprout up in Christ. God is alive and moving Red Hill! And, I believe, the best is yet to come!